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7 Ways to Experience Remote Patagonia

Spanning the borders of both Chile and Argentina at the tip of South America, Patagonia has terrain that is rugged and wild, and its remote atmosphere is what draws a huge pilgrimage of travellers to experience unparalleled flora and fauna. Here are seven things to do when visiting this uttermost part of the world

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1. Hike the W in Torres del Paine

1. Hike the W in Torres del Paine

Be one with nature and hike the famous W circuit in Torres del Paine National Park in Chile. It takes up to 5 days to complete the trail where you will have the opportunity to jump running streams, walk along glacier-filled lakes, scramble down boulders, and camp out next to the famed granite towers that dominate the landscape.

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2. Grab Your Binoculars to Catch a Glimpse of the Fauna

2. Grab Your Binoculars to Catch a Glimpse of the Fauna

Your chances of catching a glimpse of animals in their natural habitat are high in Torres del Paine National Park, Chile. The animals are protected here as part of UNESCO’s Biosphere Reserve and you should not leave your binoculars at home. A zoom lens is key in catching the perfect shot of guanacos, the Andean condors and rheas.

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3. Visit the Penguin Colony in Chile's Strait of Magellan

3. Visit the Penguin Colony in Chile’s Strait of Magellan

Take a boat tour to Isla Magdalena off the coast of Punta Arenas to get up close and personal with over 50,000 breeding pairs of Magellanic penguins. It’s worth the battle over 1.5 metre waves to get to the quaint island where these creatures come each spring to mate and then depart in the fall.

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4. Experience a Day in the Country

4. Experience a Day in the Country

Patagonia was built upon sheep and beef ranches (estancias) and there are many opportunities to experience a little taste of country life. You can take a day-tour of a working ranch or feel like a real gaucho by staying overnight and helping out as a farmhand.

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5. Check Out the Flamingos in El Calafate, Argentina

5. Check Out the Flamingos in El Calafate, Argentina

Bet you didn’t think you would see flamingos in Patagonia! The Chilean Flamingos make their home here and are easily spotted off the shores of Lago Argentina in El Calafate. (Photo by Gregory Moine / Flickr Creative Commons)

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6. Go Trekking on Moreno Glacier

6. Go Trekking on Moreno Glacier

Moreno Glacier is located 80 kms from El Calafate, Argentina, and is one of the most accessible ice fields in the world. It’s both an auditory and visual experience as huge icebergs calve from the glacier face. You can hear and see it all by putting on a pair of crampons while trekking on top of the ice field.

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7. Enjoy the Taste of Patagonian Lamb

7. Enjoy the Taste of Patagonian Lamb

Lamb wipes beef off the South American map in Patagonia as one of the main regional dishes. Simply prepared and barbequed, it’s meaty and rich in flavor. An excellent place for a traditional lamb asado is at La Tablita in El Calafate, Argentina. (Photo by RAYANDBEE / Flickr Creative Commons)